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California Desert District
Release Date: 11/19/12
Contacts: Stephen Razo , 951-697-5217 ,
News Release No. CA-CDD-13-14

Imperial Sand Dunes Officials Urge Visitors to “Restrain Yourself” This Thanksgiving

Visitors began arriving at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area this week to enjoy the busiest holiday weekend of the year – Thanksgiving.  The favorite of all holiday weekends amongst the off-highway vehicle (OHV) crowd, the dunes swell into the size of a small city as the visitation climbs upward.  More people, more fun, more need for caution.

In light of this increased visitation, and with visitor safety a continuing priority at the dunes, BLM officials are urging visitors to “Restrain Yourself” by wearing their safety harness or shoulder/lap belts while driving both on and off road.  “Each year, serious injury and death could have been prevented with the use of these safety restraints,” remarked El Centro Field Manager Margaret Goodro.  “A safety campaign urging visitors to 'Restrain Yourself' has been ongoing since the start of the season.” 

The safety message also helps visitors prepare for a new CA State Law regulating Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROV) that becomes effective January 1, 2013.  California AB1595 requires all occupants in a ROV (also known as sideXside) to wear a safety harness or shoulder/lap belt, helmets, be 16+ years old or directly supervised in vehicle to operate, and all passengers able to grasp the handhold while properly restrained.

Visitors will find both the Cahuilla and Buttercup Ranger Stations operating on extended hours during the long Thanksgiving weekend with both Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and Law Enforcement staff available.  For more information on the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, please call 760-337-4400 or visit one of the following:

 For more information on new laws regulating ROV use, please visit


California Desert District   22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos      Moreno Valley, CA 92553  

Last updated: 11-20-2012